What do you want to be when you grow up?
This morning I saw a question of “What does your child want to be when they grow up?” in a mums group.
My daughter wanted to work with animals from early on. She wanted to be a dog groomer or a stable girl. She loves animals and seems to have a natural affinity for them. I always remember I wanted to study zoology and work with animals. However, I was discouraged from that (something I regret to this day). With my daughter I never wanted to discourage her from anything (apart from getting a tattoo) so whenever she said about wanting to do a job we did our best to look at ways to try something out.
We went on wildlife walks, volunteered for conservation/wildlife projects, she got to hang out with a dog groomer (a number of times), worked at some stables and once on a school trip to a zoo completely wandered off by herself with the attitude she was unlikely to learn anything by hanging out in a group of noisy children (the teachers did not notice, mixed blessings, that she did this for hours) which meant she got to have some really good observation time. She has fed baby lambs, groomed horses, alpacas, and dogs. We rescued quite a few wild creatures and pets over the years too. She has also observed canine rehabilitation sessions.
Anyway I am pleased to say she is studying for a degree in animal behaviour/welfare management now.
Never discourage through your own opinion and belief with children. Instead look for ways to facilitate them having an experience so that they can decide for themselves. We did not have loads of money to do any of this. You can create opportunities by asking people.
I do the same with coaching clients. They may come up with something that feels ridiculous for them to say out loud and that they feel is impossible. In coaching it never is – it is always possible until it is not which means rather than dismiss something you get to see how far along you can get with doing something. As a coach I will always give my clients the support they need to make their ideas come to fruition.
Descriptive image: my daughter's hand tickling the chin of a capybara, a very large sized aquatic rodent from South America.